First impressions of the Samsung SCH-LC11 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot

Summary:The FedEx guy dropped off the Samsung SCH-LC11 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot today, the wireless hotspot from Verizon. I've only had the Samsung for a few hours so all I can offer are initial thoughts about the gadget.

The FedEx guy dropped off a little box today that contained the Samsung SCH-LC11 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot. This is the 4G Mobile Hotspot from Verizon that shares either the 3G or 4G data network with up to 5 devices via WiFi. I've only had the Samsung for a few hours so all I can offer are first impressions of the device activation and some initial thoughts about the gadget.

Setup problem

The instructions to get the Samsung going were straightforward and involved what should have been some simple steps. An automated phone call to Verizon was the first, designed to get the device and the included SIM card activated. This process did not work for me, it looped during the activation process and would never indicate the account was ready to go. After several unsuccessful cycles I was forwarded to a human representative who decided after listening to my problem that I needed to talk to tech support. It's not a good beginning when your first step is to talk to tech support.

I was on the phone for nearly an hour with this rep trying different things. The problem was the SIM was not showing in the system as being activated, yet I could connect to the web with the device. This connection was a roaming one according to the LED indicators on the Samsung so that wasn't good. Finally a combination of pulling/reseating the SIM card, pulling/reseating the battery and power cycling via the power button got the SIM to work properly and to show up on the Verizon system as activated.

Once it was ready for use I tested it for a while using various devices to connect over WiFi. That all worked great with the exception of the ThinkPad I use. This system doesn't like my mixed g/n WIFI network, and I had to change the Samsung router settings to b/g only. That did the trick and the Samsung works as expected. I will be reporting in the future with a more detailed report on the Samsung, but I have some initial thoughts that might be useful.

  • Small and quick to connect to the network (about 20 seconds)
  • Battery LED should be better (shows green to 20% left)
  • Device hangs during settings configuration requiring battery pull reset. Hasn't hung during normal use
  • WiFi operation only, cannot connect via USB to laptop for cabled use
  • Device can be used when plugged in to wall
  • Most laptop USB ports will not charge the device while being used.
  • Only way to track data usage is through My Verizon web site. This requires a temporary password from Verizon which is sent via SMS message. The Samsung device cannot do SMS, so Verizon insists on sending this first password via snail mail. It is required for first online access so until it arrives in the mail there is no way to track data usage. The device's web interface should show usage.

Topics: Mobility, Samsung, Wi-Fi

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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